Commentary

August 17, 2012

Planning finances pays off big-time

by Airman 1st Class GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

For those living paycheck to paycheck or wondering where all the money goes every month, making a budget may be worth looking into.

Budgeting can allow for financial freedom, according to Cory Carmichael, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist.

“A properly executed budget with enough income to cover all spending allows us to meet prioritized goals,” he said. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

For Ronald Lewis, 56th FSS A&FRC community readiness consultant, the word budget can be intimidating.

“I prefer the term financial plan rather than budget because of the emotional overtones budget has for some people,” he said. “A financial plan provides a visible, concrete map of action. It should be proactive rather than reactive.”

Lewis suggests asking the following questions prior to making a plan.

What do I want to achieve financially?

Do I want to make a large future purchase like a car or house?

Do I want to send my children to college?

Do I want to retire and live comfortably?

While knowing what to budget for is imperative, it is equally important to have a savings account or emergency fund, Lewis said.

“The general rule for financial ease is to pay you first,” he said. “That means put enough money aside for emergency savings and investments. Ten percent of net income is a good rule of thumb for saving and investing, but more is better.”

Carmichael said flexibility is key, especially in the beginning.

“Be honest with yourself,” he said. “While it is hard to plan for every obstacle that people encounter, an emergency fund or savings in the budget makes life easier. And, never spend more than you earn. If you want to spend more money, then get a promotion or a part-time job.”

In addition, tracking expenses can prevent overspending.

“Review bank and credit card statements every month to see where the money is going,” Carmichael said. “Many people underestimate how much they really spend. While creating a budget won’t solve spending habits, it is an important step in determining financial fitness.”

Lewis advises starting a financial plan today.

“Be proactive,” he said. “Don’t wait until you have a budget problem to start looking at your financial situation.”

Although writing down a budget may work for one person, Lewis said there are other options available to keep track.

“Some budget programs let you use a basic version for a test period,” he said. “However, some people prefer paper and pencil plans. It depends on what works best for each individual.”

For more information, call (623) 856-6550. The A&FRC will assist Luke Air Force Base members with creating a budget or other financial-related issues.

“The A&FRC, in addition to having trained financial counselors, has publications, guides, classes and other resources to answer all financial questions,” Carmichael said. “We also provide one-on-one appointments to review and discuss budget and spending plans. Take the steps now to improve your financial fitness.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

People — Air Force’s greatest asset

As I reflect on almost 25 years of military service, I find it easy to remember my assignments, the multiple jobs I’ve had and duties I have performed. I have served on four continents and for four presidents. Within that same time period, our nation has been in numerous campaigns ranging from operations Desert Storm...
 
 

Character, good or bad, will be passed on

Your character is who you are when no one is watching. At the same time, your character is who you are when everyone is watching. Your character is the sum of your morals and values and the quality of your character is of the utmost importance when leading others. In addition to your own values...
 
 
Courtesy photo

This week in history

1990: Operation Desert Shield Twenty-five years ago, Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi military to invade Kuwait. He wanted to annex what he called Iraq’s 19th Province. The country of Kuwait was Iraq’s small neighbor on the...
 

 
fear-the-walking-dead-poster

Fly Over: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and ‘Banjo Kazooie’

‘Fear the Walking Dead’ The much anticipated premiere of “Fear The Walking Dead” airs Sunday, giving new life to fans of “The Walking Dead.” The prequel was created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson who gave us ...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

“I have $1.50 in my pocket. All other monies are ear-marked for other obligations.” That’s a line from my personal journal dated Jan. 10, 1997. I’ve kept a journal for my entire adult life. It helps my nostalgic nature be able to look back and remember where I’ve been. So here’s a snap-shot of where...
 
 

Common sense, simplicity play lead role

There are numerous resources describing the attributes of extraordinary leaders, and one could spend countless hours sorting through data to supplement their toolkit. However, as with most things, common sense and simplicity should play a factor in any leadership situation. Throughout my Air Force experience, I have witnessed the same basic and successful qualities in...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>